Minnesota Historical Society M-Flame Logo

Governor's Fishing Opener

Governor Karl Rolvaag, Minnesota and Governor Harold E. Hughes of Iowa at Walleye opener at Gunflint Lake, 1965.The Governor's Fishing Opener is held each year to celebrate the opening of the walleye fishing season and to promote tourism in Minnesota. According to the Governor's Fishing Opener website: "It celebrates the kick off of the summer tourism season. The special partnership [amongst the state's resort industry, media, and public officials] continues today with a promotional focus on a host community as well as recreational opportunities statewide. Fishing is not forgotten, and is clearly still the main promotion of the event."

Dating back to the 1950s, the Governor's Fishing Opener has developed into a tradition. Since 1961 the governor has only missed the event three times, each time in order to attend to urgent matters as the legislative session closed.